Transportation agencies across the country are about to miss an important opportunity to improve non-motorized traffic safety and encourage healthy and active transportation options.
The US Department of Transportation is required by the new transportation law to establish national safety goals and performance measures to guide the states. Right now, they are NOT proposing any separate national goals or performance measures to improve the safety of bicyclists and/or pedestrians. We cannot let this happen – these measures will be used to guide traffic safety policy and funding at the national and state level for years to come
If this is allowed to happen, there will be no national target to improve the safety of cycling or walking; there will be no measures established to track or monitor pedestrian and bicyclist safety or collect data related to these areas; and there will be no incentive, guidance or leadership given to state and local agencies to tackle this important piece of overall traffic safety policy. Without a specific performance measure to focus on nonmotorized safety, bicyclists and pedestrians will remain firmly in the blindspot of traffic safety.
Funding for overall highway safety programs was almost doubled in MAP-21. Even though bicyclists and pedestrians now account for almost 16% of all traffic fatalities in the US, states are spending less than 0.5% of their safety funds to solve this problem. This is exactly the time to establish meaningful national goals and performance measures to tackle bicyclist and pedestrian safety as part of an overall, comprehensive and multi-modal traffic safety program.
That's why we have written this letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood asking him to include specific national goals and performance measures for bicyclist and pedestrian safety. We urge you to add your voice to our request. Send an Email to Secretary LaHood now
League of American Bicyclists